HP Responds with Elegant Single Platform Evolution

Recently, HP issued a press release detailing its plans for “Odyssey,” Odyssey is a project to redefine mission critical computing with a roadmap that will unify UNIX and Xeon server architectures to bring industry-leading availability, increased performance, and client choice to a single platform.

HP has finally responded to Oracle’s salvo of last March regarding Itanium. Although extended support for Oracle v11g continues to be available on Itanium through January 2018, customers have been nervous about the long term.

The plan includes delivering blades with Intel Xeon processors for the HP Superdome2 enclosure (code name “Dragonhawk”) and the scalable C-Class blade enclosures, while fortifying Windows and Linux environments with innovations from HP-UX within the next two years. This means that customers with “Dragonhawk” will be able to run mission-critical workloads on HP-UX on Intel Itanium based blades while SIMULTANEOUSLY running workloads on Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel Xeon based blades in the same Superdome 2 enclosure.

This announcement essentially provides the path forward that allows customers to present a long term roadmap for currently shipping Superdome 2 Itanium purchases, with longer term support for Intel Xeon for those workloads no longer supported on Itanium.  It should make it vastly easier for customers to justify purchase orders to their senior management by offering the capability to evolve to either continued Itanium usage or mission critical Xeon capability.

It also signals that future (within 2 years) Superdome 2 Xeon systems will provide all the availability and resiliency features that UNIX customers recognize.  Intel’s continued Itanium and Xeon innovation will allow HP and Intel to provide customers with greater flexibility and choice to do mission critical computing on their terms. Intel remains equally committed to the Itanium and Xeon platforms, both of which represent our portfolio approach to bringing open standards based computing to the mission critical market segment.

While one may wonder why HP took a while to respond with Odyssey, it is highly unusual for HP to preannounce system plans two years in advance with this level of detail.

By expanding mission-critical HP Converged Infrastructure and bringing innovations to Intel Xeon systems, HP will enable clients running Windows or Linux to:

  • Increase scalability with 32 socket SMP Xeon systems enabling clients to deploy the smallest to largest workloads in a dynamic, highly scalable pool of IT resources.
  • Increase availability of critical Linux applications with the HP Serviceguard Solution, which automatically moves application workloads between servers in the event of a failure or an on demand request.
  • Boost flexibility and availability of Xeon systems with NP nPartitions technology (nPars), which provide precise partitioning of system resources across variable workloads. HP nPars is electrically isolated to eliminate failure points, which allows clients to “scale out” within a single robust system.
  • Enhance business continuity with HP Analysis Engine for X86 to insure efficient diagnoses and automatic repair of complex system errors while restoring system stability in seconds.
  • Boost reliability and resiliency with fault-tolerant HP crossbar Fabric that routes data within the system for redundancy and high availability.
  • Achieve higher levels of availability with HP Mission Critical services, which identify and resolve sources of downtime.

More details on this advancement in Mission Critical services can be found at HP’s website.